Archive for the ‘Quinn Reed, Writer, Artist, Yoga Instructor’ Category


Friday, March 26th, 2010

As a Master Gardener with Larimer County, I am back at it taking refresher classes and getting excited about spring.† Recently, I blogged about hummingbirds.† Today, I want to share some quick and dirty ways to have a beautiful, healthy lawn and trees.† Know that diseases rarely get a foothold in healthy plants that are not stressed.


With that in mind, do not over or under water your lawn.† There is no formula (one rule for all) because the amount of water depends on the type of grass, the amount of sun, shade or wind and other variables.† Put some jars or cans out in your lawn to catch water so you know what you are spraying on. †Ask the wonderful volunteer experts (my husband is one of those) at CSU to do a water audit for a nominal charge of $75. Do not water during mid-day or when it is windy.† Do not over fertilize (it runs off into sewers contaminating our water supply.)† Aerate twice a year (Easter and Halloween) and punch many, many holes.† The holes should be two inches apart.† If you hire a service, make sure they do way more than one pass. Leave the plugs on the lawn. When you mow, never, ever cut off more than one-third and leave the clippings on the lawn to mulch, decompose and recondition the earth under the grass.† If you bag your clippings for landfill, you are throwing money away.


Never plant trees too close to anything.† Would you make your infant son sleep in a crib his whole life?† No.† Trees grow big.† The roots of trees do not grow deep into the earth like a carrot.† They spread out for long distances in a shallow manner. The roots need water and air; if a tree is surrounded by concrete, it is going to be STRESSED.† Do not water next to the trunk (unless it is a twig) ñ water around and beyond the drip line.† Do not allow a tree to develop two leaders (main trunk).† Prune one off.† Need a new tree?† PLANT A TWIG AND WATCH IT GROW BIG.† Seriously, in a few years the twig will establish and catch the big, expensive tree who is struggling to get established because its root ball was cut to a fraction of what it needs to support itself.† †I wish I had known this five years ago when I bought five huge trees to put in my labyrinth.

Okay, gardeners, tree-huggers and lovers of the outdoors, have fun and let me know if this advice was helpful.


Wednesday, March 10th, 2010

Last week my husband and I participated in an interactive dolphin program in Cozumel, Mexico.† I learned a lot about dolphins, myself, and my fellow humans.† The day was overcast and the wind was blowing so hard that the organizers offered to give us our money back, but none of the ten people in our group backed out.† Two people in our group could not swim and spent the time clinging to the fence that was our cage in the ocean.† There were other dolphin encounters that were far less strenuous and we swimmers were amazed that anyone in their right mind would shell out big bucks to cling to the cage.† Go figure.

Our dolphin, Regina, kissed me, let me shake her fins and lay in my arms.† Next, I swam through the choppy waves with a boogie board and waited until Regina came up behind me and pushed me (her nose on my feet) what† seemed near the speed of light through the water, creating a huge wake.† Lastly, I swam out in the water and Regina came under me with her belly facing upwards and let me take hold of her fins and gave me an unforgettable ride. After that, we humans went into a pen and petted a manatee.† I, who once lived in Africa, was amazed that his fins and toe tails looked remarkably like an elephantís foot as did his mouth and his hide.† The trainer said the closet relative to the vegetarian Manatee is the elephant. †This amazing mammal is in grave danger of extinction due to motor boat collisions.

I swam next to Marie, a seventy-eight year old, from New York. She had come to Cozumel with 11 other women; all who elected to stay behind on the cruise ship.† Marie was spirited and fearless. †When I jokingly commented that 78 must be the new 65, she responded, ìWhatever.î †It was striking that this woman was in the water, living it up, while the much younger Pakistani women sat on the dock and watched their men folk have all the fun.

The dolphin encounter was an emotional experience for most of us and a delight.† As I age, I am following Mariaís example.† I zip-line, swim with Dolphins - experience whatever comes my way. †We canít change the number of our age, but we can avoid being paralyzed by it.† So much of aging and life is colored by oneís attitude.

Good Posture and the mother-son duke it out.

Monday, February 8th, 2010

When my son was thirteen he started to slouch.† His tailbone would be inches from the back of a chair and his shoulders rounded.†† As his concerned mother, I went into action to get him to correct his poor posture.† I started with reminders to sit and stand straight which led to nagging which led to pleading which led to bribing which led to scare tactics which led to appealing to his vanity.† I told him he would develop painful back problems in later life, along with osteoarthritis and diminished lung capacity.† I told him slouching gave an impression of laziness and defeat.† I pulled out my big guns and told him that he was far too handsome to ruin his 5í11î with crappy posture. ††Nothing I said worked.† I cut out posture improvement regimens from magazines and offered to pay for massages if he stood up straight.† But nothing I did worked either.† At some point, he told me to let it go so I decreased my posture comments to twice a year and then zipped my lips altogether.†† I havenít mentioned his posture to him in four years.

Yesterday, he phones from Alaska where he is working as a petroleum engineer for Conaco Phillips.† He is now 25 years old.† ìMom, I have a second birthday present for you.î† (His first present was a mason jar filled with homemade bath salts wrapped with enough duct tape it to keep it safe for the three thousand mile journey from him to me.† By the way it was the best bath salts Iíve ever used.)† ìMom, today I bought a yoga mat and made a commitment to improve my posture.î

ìWeíll thatís great, son.† Why did you do this again?î

ìAs a birthday present for you.î

Weíll I am way too smart to believe that one.† Perhaps it was because he is now 5î10î or maybe because his girlfriend and him are on a health regime. †They swim, work out, eat fish and bake their own biscuits with spelt flour.† ìScott, as a yoga teacher, an occupational therapist and your mother, I am delighted.î† And then I slipped in one last comment to seal the deal.† ìI always thought that you are way too handsome to ruin the total package with bad posture.î† ††He shared my comment with his girlfriend and she agrees.

Quinn Reed


Monday, January 11th, 2010

I am having an issue with my new 2010 calendar.† In the bookstore, I passed over the calendars of butterflies, scenes of Ireland, cats and meditation gardens.† In a hurry, I grabbed the one decorated with art by Georgia OíKeefe† and now I am living to regret it.† The January photo is a close-up of an orange poppy. (Poppy 1927) As art it is okay and I have no strong feelings about it one way or the other.

Now, most people know the assertion that Georgia painted genitalia.† Duh!† Of course she did ñ flower genitalia.† Wondering what flower genitalia looks like?† Just cut open an apple and have a look.† It seems in the world of biology the design of external female genitalia is similar regardless of species, animal or vegetable.

My life is filling up so I had to flip to the February page and painting.† What a graphic shocker! Every time I glance at the giant painting on my desk, I nearly fall over. (Series 1 White and Blue Flower Shapes 1919.)† I am no prude, but give me a break!††† If this is flower genitalia, no wonder Oíkeefe caught the attention of the art world and became famous.

Concerned, I flipped through all twelve months.† Except for May (Bleeding Heart 1932) which is a bit dicey, thankfully, there are no other shockers, just pretty flowers.† As far as February goes, I need a plan Ö.probably a brown paper bag.


Wednesday, December 30th, 2009

New Years Eve 1974, Mike and I were in Madras India.† We decided to treat ourselves to a nice dinner even though we had very little money.† We got on a city bus to ride to the restaurant on the edge of town.† When we got there, I realized I had been pick- pocketed on the bus and was broke.† Mike had some money so we were very careful with what we ordered so that we would have the funds to cover it.† We nearly died when we got the bill because the restaurant charged for each piece of bread that was eaten from the bread basket and we had eaten two.†† We covered our bill but we didnít have enough to get back to the hotel.† I still remember begging a taxi driver in the dark to discount his fare.† He did.

Lesson learned, I have never been pick-pocketed since.† I wear a small lightweight wallet/purse with a long cord around my neck (REI) with passport, drivers license, credit card and cell phone in it.† I put nothing else in it to keep it light as possible.† If it is too heavy, I will be tempted to take it off and I NEVER TAKE IT OFF.† NEVER,NEVER,NEVER.† Not to hang on a chair, stuff in an airplane pocket, lay on a table or put on the counter in the toilet.† NEVER.† When I sleep, I put it in the room safe or under my pillow.† Mike carries his stuff in zippered pocket on the legs of his pants. (Cargo pants) Very difficult to get robbed with those babies.

I travel all over the globe all the time and I havenít gotten sick for ages even with all the weird flu out there.† I took a hint from the crew on the cruise ships ñ NO MORE HAND SHAKING.† In fact, I touch NOTHING with my bare skin if it can be avoided.† I use paper towels, tissue, my elbow whatever to open bathroom doors, for example.†† I donít even touch the cup of water the stewardess hands me (think of where her hands have been)† I use the napkin she provides.† Do I sound like Howard Hughes?† Not really, most all the other travelers out there take the same precautions.† Touch nothing and wash hands frequently with hot water.† I donít use sanitizer ever - not a fan.† One problem.† My travel partner, who shall remain nameless, touches all the railings in all the buildings in all the countries on earth.† And then, he touches me.† Bad man!† By the way, sometimes he catches something.

Lastly, have a plan where to meet or what to do if you get separated from your travel partner.† (Besides using your cell phone which may be super expensive overseas.) Last July Mike nearly lost me at the Amsterdam airport.† I went to the ladies room and it was hidden behind a small door on a stair landing ñ totally weird.† He was looking in the hallways like in USA.† Our plan was to go back to the last place we had face time and donít move until we are happily reunited.

This blog is dedicated to Scott and Destiny who are gearing up for Bali.† Happy travels my little bunnies everywhere.† And remember, travel light!


Tuesday, December 22nd, 2009

I love giving presents to young people because they NEED things. My husband and I will be married 40 years next month and we have long ago tapped out he same-o same-o gifts of robes, slippers, jewelry, tools and blah blah so the gift giving thing to each other has lost its luster.
Every time, I think of something that he might want he turns it down, except for another tool- a stud finder ñ but he wants to pick it out for himself. So today, three days before Christmas, we came up with this: No hollering at him for six days for any reason and more kissing during that same period.
For my gift, he fought with the people in India for hours and hours to get them to give him a number to call a woman in Canada to beg her to fix my new computer that isnít working AGAIN. He convinced her to replace it with an upgrade. It is being built in China as I write this. My heart beats with happiness.
I also have two more surprises for my husband. I found a recipe for snickerdoodles ñ his favorite childhood cookies which I am going to bake for him on the sly. And I bought a Calvin Klein push-up bra on the sale table at Macys. I am going to wear it Christmas morning. Trust me, heíll love it!


Friday, December 18th, 2009

The food section of the Denver Post, Dec. 16 was the fourth in their ìStart to Finishî series in which they follow local ingredients from production to the table.†† Well, in many ways it told me more about the production of eggs in our country than I really felt comfortable with.† Then again, it helped me decide which eggs to buy when standing in front of the refrigerator case offering way too many choices.

In order to be labeled ìcage freeî, the chicken must not be shut up in a cage.† So the chicken is squeezed (crammed) into a warehouse with twenty thousand other birds.† The photo showed them pressed together so tightly that it would be a major undertaking to turn around. ††Regulations for this labeling by American Humane require that the birds have a place to scratch the earth.† The person interviewed said that only a couple of hundred birds use this area.† Weíll, I wonder how a foot high chicken can find this scratching area without a GPS unit and a bevy of bodyguards to push a wake through the crush of chickens between her and the bare earth.† By the way cage free chickens never go outside.

ìOrganic† eggsî sound the best to me.† These chickens get to go outside.†† However, my daughter told me that she heard that some companies allow the chickens to go outside only a few minutes a day to satisfy the requirement s to get this label.† Then it is back to prison.

Anyway, the whole thing of big business agriculture smacks of animal abuse to me.† †All I know is that the cheapest eggs have thin, uneven, grayish shells and the pricey eggs look and taste so, so much better.† †Also, I do not want to support abusing animals with my grocery dollar. †Eggs are a bargain even at the higher price.

Any Comments my friends?† †††††To comment, click on ìcommentsî immediately below, have at it, and then select one of the profiles.† You†CAN select "anonymous" (the last selection) and make a comment without identifying yourself ...† †or id yourself in one of those other systems (YES - to use one of the others you would had to have setup an account previously with them).


Wednesday, December 16th, 2009


I am no fan of the senseless killing of trees in any form.† I turned in my ax years ago and no longer butcher a beautiful tree and watch it rot in my living room for two weeks before dragging it to the curb the day after Christmas.† There are probably dumber traditions that pop up during the holidays ñ but, at the moment, I canít think of any.

In my last neighborhood, I was appalled at the mountains of packaging and wrapping paper heaped on the curb waiting for the garbage truck after the gift opening frenzy on Christmas morning.† Add to that the ton of mailers, catalogues and junk mail we receive and Americans must be the world leaders in manufacturing paper waste, hands down!

According to the January issue of Better Homes and Garden magazine, one of the two top resolutions people make as they look ahead to the New Year is to get organized.† So why not start with cutting down on the amount of paper that flows through your home?† Call the companies that mail you junk and ask them to stop.† Donít buy anything from anybody who sells your name to mailing services.† Get your bills on-line.† Cut way back on subscriptions ñ unless youíre faithfully reading them.† Donít buy over-packaged crap. The list goes on and on.† Go online or check your library for books on simple solutions to conquering paper clutter.

I make it a game to generate as little waste as possible.† I love wheeling my massive garbage can to the curb each week when it has hardly anything in it and is as light as a feather.

Oh, and the answer to ìPaper or plastic?î

ìNeither, thank-you! Keep bags in your trunk and reuse them over and over.† Give the trees a break. †They are busy providing habitat, bearing nuts and fruit, producing oxygen, providing shade, beauty and stabilizing the topsoil.